OPEA 2017 Legislative Agenda

Get Ready for Oklahoma’s
2017 Legislative Session

OPEA members must be active this session if we are to improve employee pay, get a retiree pension increase, protect our benefits and improve state employment with other measures. In this email you’ll find tools to help you navigate through the legislative process and contact your legislators

Our friends at the Oklahoma Policy Institute have created a comprehensive Legislative Primer as a great overview of the legislative process and who your elected officials are.

Also, please save February 22nd and April 4th on your calendars for OPEA Day at the Capitol. We will again use these days to conduct small group or one-on-one discussions with legislators. It’s crucial that we fill up the hallways with state employees and retirees on those days. OPEA will have more details soon but please make plans to attend.
OPEA’s 2017 Legislative Agenda

Please familiarize yourself with these bills and make sure your Senator and Representative know you support them!

HB1851 – Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) – State Employee Pay Raise – We are working on a plan with the House Budget Chairwoman, Rep. Osborn, to address state employee compensation this session.  Make your voices heard and let your legislators know you need a raise NOW!  After all, as you know, teachers are not the only ones struggling to get by after 10 years without a raise!

HB1796 and SB491 – Rep. Jon Echols (R-OKC) & Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) – COLA for OPERS Retirees – The House Floor Leader, Rep. Echols, is author of our bill to provide a long-overdue and much-needed cost of living increase for retired state employees.  We are also working closely with Senator Standridge and House Retirement Chair, Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond), to ensure our retirees get a boost this session.

HB1892 – Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) The bill would standardize how on-call duty for state employees is compensated, as well as, require fair pay for the work, which requires employees to be readily available to respond to work outside of regular business hours.

SB341 – Sen. David Holt (R-OKC) – The bill would eliminate the State’s “use or lose” policy on vacation leave and require payment for unused leave.  We believe earned vacation time should never be required to be forfeited.

HB1384 – Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) The bill would require paid administrative leave and counseling be provided to state employees assaulted at work through the Employee Assistance Program.

HB1868 – Rep. Jason Dunnington (D-OKC) The bill would Increase the overtime salary threshold to $40,000 per year and require that any state employee earning less be automatically paid time-and-a-half-pay for hours worked above 40 per week.

SB549 – SB550 – SB736 – Sen. Holt (R-OKC) & Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) & Sen. AJ Griffin (R-Guthrie) – Paid Family Leave – These bills would improve upon the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and SB736 would establish a paid family leave program for state employees.

HB1717 – Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) – This bill would increase monthly matching contribution paid by the state to $50 for each participant in the SoonerSave program.

 HB1444 – Rep. Dustin Roberts (R-Durant) – This bill would add Good Friday to the state’s holiday schedule.

HB1517 – Rep. Josh Cockroft (R-Tecumseh) – We seek several improvements for our friends and members at OJA, which includes increasing the hiring rates for high turnover positions, uniform allowances for security staff and raising pay of other positions.

SB216 – Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) – This bill eliminates the theater of duty requirement for military service credit currently in place as it pertains to state employees earning credit toward retirement when they are called to active duty service.

Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) – A bill will be presented, at OPEA’s request, to require the state budget be presented to all lawmakers and the public at least 30 days prior to the end of the legislative session to improve government transparency.

SB205/SB206 – Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) & Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) – These bills create a task force to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of transferring the oversight of the Merit Protection Commission to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

SB150 – Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) – We seek several improvements for our friends and members at DOC in this bill, which includes providing a monthly uniform allowance, raising the hiring rate for correctional officers, requiring starting pay for probation and parole officers be equal to that of other law enforcement agents, requiring all officers be eligible for overtime pay, requiring all hours worked in excess of eight and one half per day automatically be paid as overtime, and increasing pay of all staff.

Other bills will arise during session that will need our support (or opposition) and we will soon be alerting you of bills that harm state employment.
If we are to have success, we will need all state employees and retirees to contact their legislators.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest developments during session. We will provide regular updates. Also, email OPEA with any questions, suggestions or concerns